The 13 major finals Raphael Varane has played in – and the 12 he has won
Manchester United‘s centre-back Raphael Varane will have to make more room in his trophy cabinet after France won the 2021 UEFA Nations League.
Varane, who enjoyed an illustrious 10-year spell at Real Madrid, has now won 17 major trophies, not including his three Spanish Super Cups.
Quite incredibly, he has featured in 13 one-off finals during his career and won all but one of them.
Even more interestingly, he sat out Real’s 2013 loss to Atletico in the Copa Del Rey showpiece, while a thigh injury saw him miss the 2016 Champions League final which ended in a draw – though Real defeated their rivals on penalties – as well as France’s Euro 2016 defeat to Portugal.
We’ve taken a look at each of the 13 finals that Varane has played a part in.
2014 Copa Del Rey
OK, it wasn’t the most glamorous of starts to the run, but Varane was the third of Real’s substitutes all made after Gareth Bale’s 85th-minute winner against Barcelona as Carlo Ancelotti ran down the clock in Valencia.
Marc Bartra’s header had cancelled out an 11th-minute opener from Angel Di Maria before Bale’s memorable winner – sprinting off the field to get round Bartra and race into the box before slotting under Jose Manuel Pinto.
2014 Champions League
Unlike in the Copa Del Rey, Varane was picked ahead of Pepe for another memorable showdown as Real faced city rivals Atletico in a final which would commence a run of four Champions League wins in five years for Los Blancos.
Sergio Ramos headed a 93rd-minute equaliser before Real ran riot in the second period of extra time, Varane one of 12 players to see yellow in the match following a confrontation with Diego Simeone after Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty sealed the 4-1 victory.
Jose Mourinho had already been full of praise for the Frenchman earlier in the year, saying: “I think he is the best young central defender in the world. Already I think he’s the best.”
READ: How Carlo Ancelotti ended Real Madrid’s 12-year wait for La Decima
2014 Club World Cup
Another late substitute appearance as Varane was still finding it difficult to break the Ramos-Pepe partnership (and was only 21 years of age), coming on in the 89th minute of a comfortable 2-0 win over Argentine club San Lorenzo.
Man-of-the-match Ramos scored in the first half before Bale added a second not long after the restart to give Real their first Club World Cup title since the competition was founded at the turn of the millennium.
2016 UEFA Super Cup
Varane had sat out the penalty shoot-out win over Atletico in the Champions League final earlier in the year, as well as missing France’s Euro 2016 final defeat to Portugal thanks to a thigh problem.
In the Super Cup, Marco Asensio scored an absolutely outrageous debut goal to put Real in front against Europa League winners Sevilla, but Ramos had to be on hand again to equalise in the third minute of stoppage time after he had conceded a penalty to allow Jorge Sampaoli’s side to take a 2-1 lead.
Dani Carvajal netted a stunning solo goal to win the tie in the 119th minute.
Real Madrid and Sevilla played out a five-goal extra-time thriller #OTD in 2016 🍿
⚽️ Marco Asensio
⚽️ Franco Vázquez
⚽️ Yevhen Konoplyanka
⚽️ Sergio Ramos
⚽️ Dani Carvajal@realmadriden | #SuperCup pic.twitter.com/pjow0KFGlX
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 9, 2021
2016 Club World Cup
A much more regular starter by this point, Varane played all 120 minutes of another extra-time win, over Japanese club Kashima Antlers in the final of the 2016 Club World Cup.
Karim Benzema had opened the scoring before Kashima came back to lead in Yokohama. Ronaldo sent the tie to extra time before completing a hat-trick in the additional minutes to win the match 4-2.
2017 Champions League
Having been handed the No.5 shirt at the start of the campaign, Varane led Real to their fourth title of the season, and the first time the club had ever won La Liga and the Champions League in the same campaign.
The final in Cardiff was a fairly routine win for Real, despite Mario Mandzukic cancelling out Ronaldo’s opener, with the Portuguese scoring his second of the match in between goals from Casemiro and Asensio.
“I didn’t imagine this, that is the truth and that’s the reason I’m really enjoying everything that is happening to me,” Varane said before the final.
“I have improved a lot and I feel the confidence of my coach and team-mates. I always try to give my best and gradually I’m growing and getting better in each facet of the game.”
The 2017 Champions League Final
Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid..
— Real Madrid Analysis (@rmdanalysis) May 31, 2021
2017 UEFA Super Cup
Casemiro was once again on the score sheet as Real retained the Super Cup with a 2-1 victory over former manager Mourinho’s Manchester United.
Isco, who was awarded man of the match in Macedonia, put his side two up before Romelu Lukaku pulled one back for United. Lukaku and Marcus Rashford missing big chances as Varane and his defence held out to see the Super Cup won by a Spanish club for the eighth time in nine years.
2017 Club World Cup
Madrid completed a brilliant 2017 by retaining the Club World Cup, beating Brazilian side Gremio 1-0 in the final in December thanks to Ronaldo’s free-kick.
Varane once again partnered Ramos in the heart of defence after Pepe had brought an end to his illustrious Real career at the end of 2016-17.
2018 Champions League
Real reached their third successive Champions League final and defeated a spirited Liverpool side 3-1 – thanks to a moment of magic and a couple of mistakes.
Sadio Mane had equalised after Karim Benzema capitalised on Loris Karius’ first error, before Bale hit *that* stunning overhead kick, adding a third when his shot slipped through Karius’ fingers.
🙌 BEST OF 2018 🙌
The greatest goal EVER scored in a final 😮
Gareth Bale's Champions League stunner 😍pic.twitter.com/tmcvtacv1C
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 31, 2018
2018 World Cup
Varane was praised for his quiet yet invaluable contribution in a World Cup which saw his France side keep four clean sheets and lift the trophy with a thrilling 4-2 win over Croatia in the final.
“It’s been a great season for me,” he said after the game. “I don’t realise what I am living through. It is something enormous and fantastic.
“My career began spectacularly, and now at 25, I’ve won the World Cup. I have no words for what I feel. I hope this continues.”
2018 UEFA Super Cup
The only blip on Varane’s incredible final record came when Real faced rivals Atletico in the UEFA Super Cup a month after the World Cup final.
Diego Costa opened the scoring after 49 seconds before Real turned things around through Benzema’s header and Ramos’ penalty.
But Costa equalised with 11 minutes left and extra-time goals from Saul and Koke gave Diego Simeone’s side the win.
2018 Club World Cup
Following the departures of Ronaldo and Zidane, Madrid struggled in 2018-19 but they still won their third consecutive Club World Cup title.
Varane played all 90 minutes as a Yahia Nader own goal and strikes from Luka Modric, Marcos Llorente and Ramos gave Madrid a 4-1 win over Al-Ain.
2021 UEFA Nations League
After a disappointing display at Euro 2020, France reached the final of the Nations League a few weeks later and came up against Spain.
Varane started in a back three but was replaced by Dayot Upamecano just before half-time due to an injury problem. Mikel Oyarzabal shrugged off Upamecano before finding the back of the net, only for Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe to rescue Les Bleus.
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